Colin MacDougall began making cheesecake after deciding he was tired of having frozen store-bought ones.
“I found a recipe and experimented, and it came out great, so I just kept experimenting more and more,” he said.
Now the owner of Sweet Hereafter "Cheesecakery", MacDougall is this week’s midweek mugging recipient.
Located at 6148 Quinpool Road, Sweet Hereafter sells cheesecake by the slice while also offering a selection of tea and coffee.
MacDougall owns the shop with his wife, Joanne. Both of them worked in the restaurant industry for over a decade before deciding it was time to create something of their own.
“Cheesecake is neat because it’s got a kind of richness and elegance about it,” MacDougall said. “I think what appeals to a lot of people about cheesecake is it’s so diverse, you can do so many various options.”
At Sweet Hereafter, baking begins at six in the morning.
“You’re measuring all your cream cheese, do a bunch of that, then you do all your crust, then you start into your mixing, and the oven doesn't usually go off until six at night,” MacDougall said. “It’s a full day endeavour.”
All the baking is done in house, with a rotating menu. MacDougall said he estimates the store has done over 100 different flavours.
“There are definitely some that are here more frequently,” he said. “Our top three would be peanut butter chocolate, cookies and cream, and home-style cherry.”
MacDougall said his favourite is autumn apple, a twist on apple pie.
“It’s a classic New York cheesecake with baked apples, and cinnamon and nutmeg on top... when that one’s in the oven, my nose perks up,” he said.
When deciding what type of cheesecake to make, MacDougall said he tries to balance out the chocolate and fruit options, while also keeping in mind seasonal favourites.
Customers can eat in at the store, or take a slice to go. Those who want to buy a full cake can order in advance.
“We do a lot of dates, we’ve actually had a lot of proposals here too,” MacDougall said. “Being seven years old, we’ve had people do the first date here, get engaged here and we’ve done some of their weddings, so it’s pretty cool.”
For MacDougall, meeting the different people that come into the store each day is one of the highlights of his job.
“I’m a people person, and it almost feels like we’re inviting them into our home, we get to know them, and that’s the thing I like the most,” he said.